Charles Kelly Is a finalist in the Amazon...
Charles Kelly is not only one of Arizona’s best journalists ever, he’s also a formidable hard-boiled novelist (and the author of a funny and wise self-help book). His books haven’t received anything close to the attention they deserve, but that might be about to change; his novel Grace Humiston and the Vanishing, which he wrote 20 years ago and couldn’t get published, is...
A Specter at the Feast of St. Harvey
For a politician, getting murdered is an excellent career move. San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk, who was born 82 years ago today, was murdered in 1978 along with Mayor George Moscone. Moscone is now usually only mentioned in relation to Milk, who has become an iconic figure, and in 2009 was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Why? Because he was the first openly...
Karma Is Not a Bitch →
Reading Yourself As a Map →
Jon Talton: The U.S. Is Not a Developed Country
On Thursday I was at The Poisoned Pen to see novelist and journalist Jon Talton, who got run out of Phoenix a few years ago for telling the truth. Talton remarked that the U.S. is not a developed country, because a country in which the enforced norm is single-car occupancy is not a developed one. He’s right. Trouble is, Americans are pampered children who don’t want to give up their...
Executions in Arizona a Game of Charades
The Arizona Republic has declared that the state clemency board “is now a charade.” While it’s now worse than ever before, thanks to the corruption and arrogance of Governor Jan Brewer, it has been a charade throughout the 15 years I have been reporting on the death penalty. In 2008, Flaunt published a long article I wrote about the executions I have witnessed. To read...
Hombre - Great Novel, Dull Film
“I never need to wash or shave.” Jake Hinkson, author of the superb novel Hell on Church Street, has an interesting essay on the film Hombre. I watched that film a few weeks ago, and, while I share Hinkson’s admiration of the acting and the cinematography, I disagree that Hombre is in any way unusual. Indeed, I was struck by how conventional a Western it is, and also how...
Reading Orwell in 2012
Last night I lay in bed reading some of George Orwell’s essays. I’ve read those essays so many times during the last 25 years, but the law of diminishing returns doesn’t seem to apply to Orwell’s prose. At least, not to his nonfiction; I think he’s an over-rated novelist, though still a good one. As I’ve written before (here and here), I moved from reverence...
The Lie of John Lennon
This article makes an argument that the John Lennon who is widely revered is a fiction. It would be stronger if the author, Edward Benjamin, was more able to differentiate between his subjective opinions about the quality of Lennon’s music and the objective fact that Lennon was a politically-ignorant, wife-battering drug addict from a middle class background, but it’s still a...
Reading "My" Book and Wondering Who Wrote It
I spent much of the last couple days proof-reading The Book of Man, which is free on Kindle today. It felt strange to carefully reread a book I finished writing on New Year’s Day 1994. It’s such a sad book, and yet during the writing of it I was happy. Where books come from, and what they say and mean, has less to do with the author than you might believe.
Reformatted Book of Man Free on Kindle Tomorrow
Someone let me know that the Kindle edition of The Book of Man had some formatting issues. It has now been reformatted. You can download it for free tomorrow.
Prediction for Tonight's Mayweather-Cotto Fight: a... →
Prediction for Tonight's Mayweather-Cotto Fight: a...
Miguel Cotto doesn’t have a chance of beating Floyd Mayweather. Whatever happens, this fight will be one-sided. Depending on how much ability to absorb punishment Cotto has left, he may take a sustained beating, as he did against Pacquiao. That fight ought to have been stopped five rounds earlier than it was, and Cotto was so battered I thought his career was over. He seems to have recovered...
Memories of the Dark Ages of Publishing (and an...
Yesterday, when I read Kevin Williamson’s article commemorating the 20th anniversary of the launch of Rebel Inc., I had a quite visceral response to the pictures of the covers of the magazine. I had forgotten - or perhaps buried - just how hard it was for writers prior to the Internet. I was more fortunate than many of my peers in Scotland in the late 1980s and first half of the 1990s; I had...
Rebel Inc: 20 Years On & Ready For More
Twenty years ago, I took part in the launch of Rebel Inc. Kevin Williamson, its editor, looks back, and looks forward.
Spinetingler Awards Winners Announced
This year’s Spinetingler Awards winners have been announced. My novel The Wrong Thing was nominated in the Best Novel - Legend category, which was won by Lawrence Block’s A Drop of the Hard Stuff. I’m happy to be in such fine company. I’m also happy that the award for Best Crime Fiction Publisher went to New Pulp Press, who published Jake Hinkson’s brilliant novel...
Downtown Devil's "Managing News Editor" Says It's... →
A.S.U.'s Downtown Devil Newspaper Prints a Puff... →
Book Review: Beyond Religion by H.H. The Dalai...
Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World by His Holiness The Dalai Lama (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, hardcover, $24) The Dalai Lama is one of the most misunderstood public figures, and he is misunderstood in two major ways. His fame as a spiritual teacher, combined with the warmth of his huge personality, makes it possible for people to enjoy his presence without actually hearing what he says, and...